This is about alpha melanocyte-stimulating hormone tripeptide K(D)PT. In the blog post Anti-inflammatory effects of the hormone alpha-MSH, I discussed a line of research linking the human hormone alpha-melanocyte-stimulating hormone (alpha-MSH) to reduction of inflammation. Alpha-MSH is synthesized in human hair follicles and acts upon melanocytes, cells which produce the pigment melanin which gives color to the skin, eyes and hair. In that post I discussed how alpha-MSH effectively controls systemic inflammation through acting on the central nervous system and inhibiting the expression of NF-kappaB. “The anti-inflammatory effects of alpha-MSH have been confirmed by means of animal models of inflammation such as irritant and allergic contact dermatitis, cutaneous vasculitis, asthma, inflammatory bowel disease, rheumatoid arthritis, ocular and brain inflammation(ref).”
Another substance closely related to alpha-MSH is attracting increasing interest as a possible anti-inflammatory agent, that being K(D)PT “Most of the anti-inflammatory activities of alpha-MSH can be attributed to its C-terminal tripeptide KPV. K(D)PT, a derivative of KPV corresponding to the amino acid 193–195 of IL-1beta, is currently emerging as another tripeptide with potent anti-inflammatory effects. The anti-inflammatory potential together with the favourable physiochemical properties most likely will allow these agents to be developed for the treatment of inflammatory skin, eye and bowel diseases, allergic asthma and arthritis(ref).” K(D)PT is identical to interleukin (IL)-1beta193-195. Like alpha-MSH, K(D)PT appears to be an anti-inflammatory that inhibits the expression of NF-kappaB. K(D)PT “ameliorates endotoxin-induced nuclear factor kappaB translocation(ref)”
Regular readers of this blog know I have an interest in the role of hair follicle melanocytes in hair pigmentation, a subject I discussed in the blog posts Why does your hair turn gray, and More research insight on gray hair and adult stem cell reproduction. K(D)PT appears to be capable of stimulating hair pigmentation under inflammatory conditions that would normally turn colored hair gray. “The alpha-melanocyte stimulating hormone-related tripeptide K(D)PT stimulates human hair follicle pigmentation in situ under proinflammatory conditions.” “Conclusions: The IL-1beta- and alpha-MSH-related tripeptide, K(D)PT, displays interesting hair pigmentation-stimulatory activities under proinflammatory conditions. These might become exploitable for innovative antigreying strategies, notably in postinflammatory poliosis (regrowth of white hair, e.g. during recovery from alopecia areata), where no effective clinical therapy is yet available(ref).”
The research relating K(D)PT to human hair pigmentation is still in an early stage. It is possible that this substance could turn out to be a useful new anti-inflammatory and could also play a role in restoring natural color to gray hair under certain stress circumstancces.